Something I’ve struggled with when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the mindset that after an indulgent weekend I needed to “start over” on Monday. Especially after a long weekend, a week away or anything else that had me indulging a bit more than I typically like to. It would often come with feelings of guilt, feeling like I needed a major overhaul, or feeling like I needed to have a “perfect” week to make up for it. I would sometimes even double up on my workouts, push myself extra hard in the gym, or try to restrict calories for a few days to make up for the weekend. It felt like everything I had been working towards was down the drain and I was basically starting over.
This weekend here in BC (and most other provinces in Canada) we had a long weekend. Greg and I filled our days on the beach, boating with friends, taking in a happy hour on our favourite lakeside patio and ordering in when we were too zonked to come up with anything for dinner. It was such a great weekend and even though I indulged a bit more than I typically do, I didn’t feel the need to feel guilting about anything I ate or drank while we enjoyed our days. It actually got me thinking about a post I wrote just before Christmas last year, about all the special things I enjoy over the holiday season without any guilt whatsoever because they had been family traditions of ours for years. To me, a gorgeous summertime long weekend in the Okanagan, also feels pretty special and I have no time to feel guilty about any of the food or beverage choices I made while enjoying the weekend. Admittedly though, by Tuesday morning I was feeling out of sorts and pretty blah.
Normally, the Tuesday morning after an indulgent long weekend for me, would result in a complete overhaul. Again, promising myself I would have a “perfect” week to make up for the weekend and to get back on track. Restricting calories, eating less and eventually just feeling really frustrated with the whole process. The thing is, that never ever actually helped or made me feel better. If I’m being honest, it actually made things feel a lot worse than they really were. This year I’ve been working on allowing myself to enjoy foods I love and realizing I don’t have to make up for it in any way whatsoever afterwards.
So instead of having a complete overhaul and “starting over” this week here are some of the things I now do and more importantly, the things that I do NOT do to get my body back to feeling amazing!
Things I Do…
#1. Drink a TON of Water!
I actually really love drinking lots of water in general, but especially after a weekend of drinks and higher carb foods, my body just craves so much water. I have a one-liter Nalgene water bottle and I try to drink three liters of water every single day. Sometimes that doesn’t always happen, but I’m always making a point to bring my water with me everywhere I go. Here’s how I break it down during the day: one liter during/ right after a workout, one liter before lunch, and one liter after lunch. Doesn’t that seem more approachable? Just try not to drink too much water after dinner or before bed because that’s just annoying in the middle of the night.
#2. Enjoy a Workout
Often times after an indulgent weekend or holiday I would feel like I needed to KILL IT on my workouts to make up for everything. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to have a really great workout or pushing yourself hard in the gym, but I want it to be because I have some great energy and want to, not because I have to make up for my food choices. Also, I’ve come to realize that you can’t outwork a poor diet.
#3. Meal Plan and Make Healthy Choices
Although I don’t suggest trying to restrict calories or vow not to touch a single morsel of carbohydrate for the next week (that’s silly because even vegetables have carbs), I do think it’s important to start filling up on healthy foods to get back to feeling great. I always set aside time each weekend to meal plan for the week ahead and make sure I fill my week with healthy foods I enjoy eating. If I feel like I need to eat certain foods as a punishment, or eat less to make up for choices I made that weekend, it’s not a very motivating way to start a week.
Things I Don’t Do…
#1. Restrict Calories
Now that I know so much more about calories and the way the body responds to food, I understand that restricting calories after indulging isn’t necessary. The body doesn’t fluctuate that drastically in such a short period of time, so I save myself the stress and effort. What’s more important to me is that I get back to the routines and habits I know make me feel great and not change anything drastic to compensate.
#2. Step on the Scale
I’ll admit, I use to spend a lot of time stressing over the number on the scale. It was the only way I knew how to measure the progress I was making with my healthy lifestyle. It was really stressful stepping on the scale after a holiday because I just knew I would be disappointed with the number staring back at me. I still have a scale, but I RARELY step on it. My clothes tell me everything I need to know about my body size, and one holiday or one weekend away, isn’t going to mean my clothes don’t fit anymore. If you’re a bathroom scale obsessor like I used to be, I encourage you to ditch that thing and look to more non-scale victories (one of my favourite Whole30 terms) for your motivation and markers of success.
#3. Feel Guilty
Sometimes I feel like we put so much guilt on ourselves for enjoying a special weekend or time away. What’s the point of enjoying ourselves if we’re just going to feel guilty about it afterwards. When some less healthy food options are apart of my weekend or holiday, I just recognize how they made me feel and move on. Feeling guilty or making a promise to never eat poorly again, just takes away from the enjoyment I got from the holiday.
One thing I should also point out is that I don’t think we need to be living for the long weekends or holidays where we can just throw caution to the wind and eat whatever the heck we want. I think incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your weekend plans should be the goal. Pack healthy snacks for a road trip, prep your favourite foods for a camping trip, or look up local restaurants with some great whole food options while you’re away. Plus, if the hearty whole foods you’re eating on a regular basis are foods you love, you don’t feel like you need a vacation from your food choices. If you’re feeling like you need a vacation from boring healthy food, it might be time to re-strategize your menu!
Whole30 with Me!
The Whole30 is a 30-day self-experiment that literally changed everything for me. I learned more about food and my body in 30 days, than I did with 10+ years of dieting and trying to lose excess weight. I am so passionate about the changes I’ve seen in myself and my clients over the years, I want to shout it from the rooftops and get everyone involved!
I’d love to have you join me in our next round of Whole30 I’m so confident in this program and all the health benefits you’ll notice, that I’ve recently become a Whole30 Certified Coach and designed a 6-week program to help women complete their very first Whole30! Plus, I always find it easier to stick to something when I know there are other people doing it with me, so you’ll have full support from both me and your fellow Whole30ers.
Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up to Whole30 with me:
- 6-weeks of coaching
- Private Facebook Group
- Complete Whole30 Resource Package
- 30 Day Meal Plan
- Weekly Facebook Live Calls
- Daily Motivational Noe
- Reintroduction Guide